Manila, Philippines – As a predominantly Catholic country, most brands based in the Philippines still shy away from talking about gender inclusivity, fearing backlash from the conservative audience. With a growing LGBTQIA+ community in the country, how can brands use ads to fight alongside with these communities for inclusivity and equality?
This was the latest ad from global fast-food chain McDonald’s in the country, who recently launched a full-on campaign in celebration of Pride Month. The ad, conceptualised by TBWA\ Santiago Mangada Puno (TBWA\SMP), is a feel-good spot showcasing the brand’s commitment to promote gender equality in society.
The ad features a sweet story between a skater girl repeatedly passing thru a McDonald’s drive-through window: just to see her crush who works at the McDonald’s branch. Moreover, the ad–which has seen organic virality over the past few days–caught the attention of the masses as it featured an inclusive story between two women.
When asked about the creation of the ad, Adi Hernandez, corporate relations director at McDonald’s, shares, “Despite its rare representation locally, it was more important for us that who we are as a brand, which is a brand that welcomes all, is reflected in the stories that we share just like this one. Our commitment to diversity and gender inclusivity is an overall brand experience that we aim to improve from our employees and to our customers.”
Hernandez also added that the casting for the actors in the ad were made alongside TBWA\SMP to feature true members of the LGBTQIA+ community.
“No matter who you are, you are welcome and safe to come back here again and again – that’s what we wanted our audience to know. Which is why this is a part of a broader initiative of McDonald’s Philippines to show our commitment to ensuring we continue to be everyone’s happy place,” he added.